Nov. 3 (UPI) — Pennsylvania Republicans filed a lawsuit Tuesday in federal courtroom, alleging that election employees in Montgomery County north of Philadelphia had been counting mail ballots early and permitting voters to “remedy” ballots with issues.
An expedited listening to is scheduled for Wednesday at 9 a.m. in Pennsylvania Jap District Court docket within the case filed by Republican U.S. congressional candidate Kathy Barnette and Clay Breece, chairman of the Republican Committee in neighboring Berks County.
At subject are not less than 1,200 “spoiled” ballots that arrived earlier than Oct. 30 on the Montgomery County Board of Elections. The ballots had signature issues, or lacked a secrecy sleeve, which election employees may decide with out opening the envelopes.
Election employees weren’t allowed to begin opening envelopes and canvassing mail-in ballots earlier than 7 a.m. on Election Day.
Election employees members had been contacting voters with spoiled ballots and telling them that they wanted to come back to the county and both repair their poll, or vote in particular person on Tuesday, the swimsuit alleges.
It additionally claims that Montgomery County is treating downside mail-in ballots in another way than Berks County, the place unhealthy ballots aren’t counted.
“Pennsylvania voters shouldn’t be handled in another way primarily based on the county the place they’re required to vote,” wrote Andrew Teitelman, the lawyer who filed the swimsuit.
The swimsuit additionally complains that due to COVID-19 well being protocols, ballot watchers are being constrained to “a tiny holding pen on the fringe of the room,” or “relegated to a distant ‘overflow room’ that has two 40-inch flat display televisions.”
President Donald Trump predicted in marketing campaign stump speeches that the vote in Pennsylvania wouldn’t be fully tabulated by Tuesday night time, and promised to take the combat to the courts. The Trump administration sued and misplaced over signature matching on mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania.
Joe Foster, chairman of the Montgomery County Democratic Committee, instructed the Philadelphia Inquirer on Tuesday that employees members at polling locations at all times have helped voters be sure they’re casting their ballots accurately.
Officers had been seeing extra mail-in ballots this yr due to the pandemic, and officers weren’t “overstepping” once they contacted voters, no matter celebration, Foster stated.
Kelly Cofrancisco, a spokeswoman for Montgomery County, stated the method for contacting voters with downside ballots with out opening them was “sound.”
“Our course of under no circumstances takes the place of the procedures which are adopted as a part of the canvass of ballots, and at no level previous to canvass is a willpower made on whether or not a poll will or is not going to be accepted,” Cofrancisco stated.
“We consider in doing no matter we will to afford those that have legally requested and returned a poll a good alternative to have their vote rely.”